Things that hurt my OCD
My lovely sister is my partner in crime and is often good for a giggle. She brings me Pepsi and licorice and we laugh about the chaos of raising kids. She has graciously accepted my request to guest post for me today. I am hopeful that she will write Part II, III and IV before the year’s end!
A couple of years ago, my sister and I were going to a movie all by ourselves. As women tend to do, we made a pit stop at the bathroom before going to our seats. We washed and dried our hands amidst our conversation and headed to the door, my sister empty handed and me clinging to the paper I had used to dry my hands.
Stacey got to the door first and without pause, wrapped her bare hand around the handle and opened the door. I stood frozen, my mouth agape. She took one look at my expression and started laughing.
We are sisters and alike in several ways, but there are a large number of ways in which we could not be more opposite. One such way is the fact that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and she does not.
This bathroom experience has led to many hilarious conversations about “things that hurt my OCD”. So, for your reading pleasure, here is a list of things that hurt my OCD:
1. Anything in a public restroom.
The toilet, toilet handle, door knobs, water faucet handles, the floor, etc. In my mind it is a teeming mass of germs just waiting to attack. I have, more than once, insisted my children touch as little as possible while inside, and then helped them wash their hands and get through the door to the relative safety of whatever public place we may be visiting.
An irony – the paper towel dispenser or button on the automatic dryer does not hurt my OCD. If someone is touching those items, odds are extremely high that they have already washed their hands.
2. Odd numbers.
Odd numbers just feel wrong. Even numbers are so much more comfortable and safe. For example, if you want to drive me absolutely crazy, turn on the volume to the stereo or television and leave it on an odd number.
If you want to turn it into a game, you could bet on how many seconds it will take me to correct the volume.
Another irony – television channels that are odd numbers do not hurt my OCD. If I really want to watch something on an odd number, it doesn’t bother me in any way. Remember the volume rule though, because that still applies!!
This word strikes fear into most parent’s hearts. We all know it comes with middle of the night fumblings with barf filled bedding and sleepy, slimy kids. If we are lucky it will even mean our own late night session praying to the porcelain god.
While that is all fairly normal, vomit causes me a more abnormal level of intense panic and anxiety.
We were at a party at my sister’s house one year and one of the millions of grandchildren from her in-law’s side of the family threw up on the floor. I could not get my family out of there fast enough. Thankfully my sister is well versed in my OCD and she excused my rapid retreat with kindness and understanding.
Once one of my children gets sick, I can handle all of the duties that come with it, but the waiting to see if anyone else, myself included, will fall victim is enough to make me long for a padded room.
As you may guess, OCD that tends to focus on germs has made parenting four little children exciting and twitch inducing on a regular basis. I have worked hard to keep my fears to myself and let my children grow up and find their own eccentricities.
Aside from their love of hand sanitizer and their meeting my questions of if they are going to barf with a sigh and an eye roll, they seem, for the most part, untouched by my OCD.
My sister is a prime example of making laughter part of life! She could be completely offended when I tease her about things that hurt her OCD, but instead she jokes, laughs and accepts it as a part of life! She is pretty awesome!